Image: Workers camp on Saadiyat Island in 2011, Hans Haacke.
Gulf Labor members Naeem Mohaiemen (text) and Hans Haacke (photos) contribute an “Artists Op-Ed” to the Walker Art Centre’s Magazine.
“Defiance is welcomed when it is sanctioned and staged as art. Drill a crater in the floor, flood a gallery, embalm an animal, smash an object, stage a pitiful death—critics hail these gestures as having the power to “shape worlds.” But when artists sit down at a conference table with museum administrators and read from a list of demands for labor rights, this work—involving conversation, negotiation, research, protest—suddenly becomes illegible to the same museum. The artists whose projects were previously praised as stretching boundaries are now tagged as maverick spoilers.”
You can read the entire piece here: